The statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits is two years in Pennsylvania. If it’s been less than two years since your injury happened, you still have time to file a lawsuit. If you didn’t want to file at first but then later learned that your injury was more serious, you may still have time to change your mind.
According to Hattiesburg’s personal injury lawyer Morris Bart, your life can change drastically after an accident, and your distress can be compounded by the fact that another person’s negligence has caused your pain and suffering.
The Most Common Causes of Personal Injury Lawsuits
Whether you’ve been injured or not, the following information is good to know because an injury can happen to anyone at any time. Understanding the most common causes can increase your chances of being able to avoid these accidents in the first place.
- Slip and fall accidents: this can include falls from ladders, slipping in puddles of water, or tripping over an object.
- Vehicle accidents: this can include pedestrian or bicycle vs. car accidents, car accidents, and collisions with semi-trucks.
- Brain injuries: this can be the result of a car accident, sports accidents, or a fall.
- Dog bites: this can be caused by a stray dog, a dog whose owner has failed to control it, or even a friend or family member’s dog.
How to Calculate Your Damages
If you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, one of the biggest questions that may be on your mind is, “How much is my case worth?” According to data from Martindale-Nolo Research, the average settlement is $53,000. This information can be misleading because there is no “average” case as each one has unique circumstances.
To determine how much your case is worth, you will need to determine your economic and non-economic damages. The economic damages are the easy part as you will have a paper trail to prove your medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs. What is more difficult is calculating pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering
Even if you have the same type of injury as someone else, you will not necessarily experience the same amount of suffering. For example, one person who was injured in a car accident may develop post-traumatic stress disorder while another person in the same accident will not.
To determine the worth of an individual’s pain and suffering in a lawsuit, two methods can be used. These include the per diem method or multiple modifiers. Per diem means “per day,” and this figure is based on your salary. Multiple modifiers use a number between one and five to “multiply” your economic damages. The more serious your injury, the higher the number.
Damage caps are illegal under the Pennsylvania Constitution. That means there is no limit to the amount of non-economic damages you can claim. Two exceptions to this rule are:
- Your damages cannot exceed $250,000 if you are using a government agency
- Your damages cannot exceed $500,000 if you are suing local agencies such as a city
If your injury was caused by a car accident that was the result of a pothole or other dangerous conditions, you cannot seek compensation for property damage.
If you’ve been injured and you weren’t at fault, it is your legal right to pursue compensation from the negligent party. You shouldn’t be left with the bills if you didn’t cause the accident that led to your injury. Thanks to our court system, the at-fault party may be stuck with your bills instead.